A body in a casket burns in the Willamette River and the homeless dance in the searchlight of doom, while the cosmos turns on the true meaning of morality.Years later, in a desolate desert landscape two women meet in a cafÃ. Waitress Wanda wields aMoreA body in a casket burns in the Willamette River and the homeless dance in the searchlight of doom, while the cosmos turns on the true meaning of morality.Years later, in a desolate desert landscape two women meet in a cafÃ©. Waitress Wanda wields a spatula and tells a laughing Bette the ribald story of how she met her deceased husband.Within minutes, a violent act leaves Bette severely brain injured, and Wanda commits to her care.
Their relationship becomes the target of a perverse minister who uses them for his own aggrandizement.Evangelicals, gays, Indians and the homeless converge on the women in the protest march from Hell, agitated by Mark Twain and his final creation, No. 44.This story of struggle and devotion will hold you. You will root for the endearing characters, and the triumph of sweet, sweet good, over sanctimonious evil.A Note To ReadersThis novel is my humble homage to Mark Twains ability to use picaresque characters and outrageous tales to forge substantial, frequently dark, social commentary.
In his later years the dark fused with the picaresque in, No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger, unpublished until after his death. Its various incarnations are attracting spirited interest from scholars and readers. My No. 44 is very loosely derived from the protagonist, and underlying narrative, of the most respected version, published by the University of California Press. My anticipation is that by putting No. 44, and the late-in-life Mark Twain, into a contemporary setting, and involving them in a story of struggle and devotion, I will enliven the discourse on religion and social values in American life, something Mark Twain cared about intensely.
This is not the book he would have written had his comet lingered, but I hope I have honored him with it.You dont have to read, No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger to enjoy The Return of No. 44. The story stands alone. You will laugh with, and cry for, the characters. You will cheer them on, and beg for justice.Bob Rogers worked in television news and as a print photojournalist before earning an MFA in the visual arts.
He published short stories in literary magazines and taught art. After a period in business he resumed creative writing, and returned to journalism.He and his wife Claire tour the world on a tandem bicycle, 39,000 miles and counting. Narratives include: A Silk Road Crossing, Around Australia by Tandem, Tandem, An American Love Story, A Canadian Love Affair and Cruising the South Pacific with Captain Bligh.